The Kills In Toronto

May 9, 2009 at 10:02 pm (Uncategorized)

I almost didn’t go to this show. I waited until almost the last minute to get my ticket, but I’m certainly glad I did. Last Thursday was one of those great moments, when your expectations collide with reality.

I arrived at the Phoenix concert Theatre around 8:30, just in time for the first opening act The Magic Wands.  I’ll admit some apprehension. The band’s myspace page offering sounded a bit poppy to my ears, and I wasn’t convinced about the name: was it Harry Potter or a dildo? Thankfully, live the  Nashville based duo were much more engaging. Although the vocals weren’t always audible, the band built momentum throughout the short set.

Now, I’ll admit I had never heard of The Horrors before the show. I checked around the net, and it looked good. The sound was good. Influences included the Sonics and the Fuzztones, and even if a couple of members looked as if there had been a part of Good Charlotte, it was OK. Just outside the venue, I overheard one attendee telling a friend, ‘I really want to  see the Horrors.’ So far so good.

The band looked great. Full of rock star moves, but unfortunately, the sound mix was so muddy, it made the band’s job ten times harder. The mix seems to have put all the instruments at the same level creating a sludge like sound in which the vocals were completely buried. Too bad, as the swirling sound did grow on me. they looked very nice though.   

And then the Kills. I don’t know if I’d say the Kills are my favourite band at the moment, but they’re certainly up there. They’ve put out three outstanding albums, Keep on Your Mean Side (now reissued to include the Black Rooster EP), No Wow, and Midnight Boom, and there’s also a rather cool I-Tunes sessions to be had.

The band performed on a sparse stage: Just Jamie Hince and Allison Mosshart, their amps, a drum machine, and a black backdrop. But from the opening number ‘U.R.A. Fever’ to the 14th and final number ‘Fried my Little Brains’, it was an intense experience.  OK, they didn’t play Rodeo Town, but perhaps I didn’t yell loudly enough. Anyway, anyone who plays Patsy Cline’s ‘Crazy’, the Velvets’ ‘Pale Blue Eyes’ and Screaming Jay Hawkin’s ‘I Put a Spell in one evening ought to cut a little slack. 

Simply a great show.


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